Buying Real Estate

Buyer Beware: Pros, Cons of Stucco

Always get a moisture test before buying a Stucco home.  Homes in the southeast U.S. generally sell for less with Stucco siding – so you can get more house for your money…. just keep that lower price-point in mind when you in turn are ready to sell so it does not come back to haunt you.

EFIS synthetic stucco is a decent product; the problem was in the application. If moisture isn’t allowed to escape via proper application, then it builds up, causes rot from the inside out and forces its way out any openings. Typically those openings are around doors and windows which is why stucco homes often have rot at the bottom of door and window frames. All that said:

1. Make certain you know if it’s hard coat or synthetic. If you lean toward a stucco home have it inspected by a firm specializing in that field. They will probe the home in multiple areas to test for moisture retention. This is well beyond the scope of a home inspection. If work needs to be done, ideally, have it done BEFORE you close because tearing into a stucco home can open up a whole can of worms.

2. Get a stucco bond on the home.

3. Some relocation firms discourage their transferees to buy stucco homes.

4. Often stucco homes will have an extended marketing time and the stucco will have a negative impact on value.

5. If you see synthetic stucco, you often also see “blue pipe” (polybutylene pipe) and LP/GP siding. These three products “ran together” for several years and all are considered defective items that you need to know about. Nothing that is a deal killer, but each requires increased attention at best and at worst, replacement.

6. We’ve seen buyers grab stucco clad homes at a nice discount then strip the stucco and replace it with either brick, cement siding or wood.

7. Get an insurance estimate before you buy. I’ve seen insurance companies increase their rates for stucco homes.

You can often nab a larger home or get one below market value, but the “hunter becomes the hunted” when it’s time to sell.  Your market may be diminished when it’s time to sell.

Examine the benefits and drawbacks of stucco siding to see if it is the right exterior for you.

More Info – According to

Stucco consists of cement, lime, and silica applied in several layers over wood or metal lath. Since these layers basically form a concrete shell around a house, a stucco home requires less energy to keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Stucco can also help to reduce sound transmission. This is a great benefit to anyone living in a crowded neighborhood or across from a freeway interchange. It also is fire retardant, and in some situations it has saved homes from being consumed in grass and forest fires.

Despite the large investment it costs to place stucco on the exterior of a home, stucco will pay for itself eventually because of its easy maintenance plan and longevity. Stucco can last over 50 years, depending on your local climate and how well you maintain it.

Stucco can tolerate moisture and expansion only up to a certain point. It is not as good as brick veneer or vinyl siding for keeping water out of the exterior walls of your house during periods of heavy rain. It will repel water well in average climates, but it may not be recommended in extremely rainy areas. Overall, it seems to work out better in dry, sunny climates. If the foundation of your house is prone to shifting and settling (especially from a constantly wet ground) or if your area suffers from earthquakes, the new stucco layer might crack sooner than expected. Stucco is somewhat brittle and does not flex with your house quite as well as vinyl siding does.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s